The alleged caning of around 28 students of Class VIII on Wednesday at Priyadarshani English medium school in Bhosari as the students were ‘speaking in Marathi’ is a blatant violation of the RTE Act, which strictly bans corporal punishment in schools.
According to RTE Act, ‘No child shall be subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment’ and ‘whoever contravenes this provision shall be liable to disciplinary action under the service rules applicable to such person’.
The Bhosari police has registered an offence against School CEO Jitendra Singh under Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and relevant sections of Juvenile Justice (JJ) Amendment Act of 2006. The accused was not detained by the police till Thursday evening, Tukaram Hargude, assistant inspector of the Bhosari police told Newsline.
When contacted, Uttara Kamble, officiating education officer with Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation said aspect of RTE violation would be taken into consideration while sending a detailed report to the Pune Zilla Parishad about the incident.
“We visited the school today, but school management could not be contacted. We will contact them tomorrow for their side and would also speak with affected children and parents for their take,” she said.
Admitting that the concerned school authorities have violated the RTE Act by resorting to use of corporal punishment against students, she said it would be mentioned in the final inquiry report for necessary action.
Meanwhile, concerned parents have strongly reacted to reported allegations from school management that students were beaten up for passing lewd remarks in Marathi against girl classmates.
“My son always figures among class toppers. We as parents are very confident that he would never ever stoop to any such low. The students beaten up by school CEO also includes six girls. So, were they also passing lewd remarks?” a parent, who did not wish to be named, reasoned.
Stressing that school management had earlier confessed atrocities inflicted against students, parents have accused concerned authorities for retracting from their confession in the wake of offence getting registered with police.
Rajendra Singh, brother of Jitendra Singh and senior functionary with Priyadarshani School, earlier in the day said that he has prohibited his accused brother from entering the school premises. He was not available for comment on charges levelled by parents and also on the issue of violation of RTE Act.